Parts of the Whole

I think there’s a real art in understanding why things fit together.  My good friend Shane McNeil sent me this great video yesterday:

Around our school success criteria* (as a means of evaluating student work) are very in fashion.  For the most part, I think they’re good; however, I do think that sometimes they are used as checklists.  If a list of criteria isn’t linked to WHY they make a piece of work better/successful, then what’s the point?

Today after doing a piece of shared work with the class, I asked them about “must haves”.  I asked them, what pieces of information help to make sense of the work.



The students chose these “must haves" because without them the map wouldn’t make any sense.  

By connecting the "must haves” to meaning, I asked students to look at their work in the same way that LiveLeak looked at Gimmie Shelter.  "How do the pieces create meaning?“  Instead of "put these things in your work because that’s what good writers do.”  I really think this approach makes success criteria more real.  It makes them matter.


*Thanks to David Fife for the concise explanation of Success Criteria.


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